St. Charles Herald-Guide

No fat in state budget?

By C.B. Forgotston - April 25, 2013

There is a public perception and a perception by the leges that Tim Barfield is in charge of the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

Barfield is regularly referred to as "Mr. Secretary" before lege committees. He never corrects the leges and nobody ever asks exactly what his job is.

Barfield exercises none of the duties of Secretary of Revenue. According to Barfield, Deputy Secretary of Revenue Jane Smith performs the duties of the Secretary of Revenue when there is a vacancy as there is now.

However, pursuant to a Public Records Request I got the legal documents where Smith delegated all of those duties to others at LDR.

Other than visiting with her old lege colleagues I donít know what Smith does. She makes a six-figure salary. Considering how bad Smith messed up the alternate fuels rebate, it probably is best that she do nothing.

Rather than owning-up to her screw-up, Smith threw former Secretary Cynthia Bridges under the bus.

I filed a second Public Records Request to get Barfieldís job description as executive counsel because there was nothing in the statutes. The response was that no job description exists for him because he is a political appointee.

Now that Barfield blew-up Jindalís tax swap by blurting out that businesses would be taxed, his job appears to be merely political patronage by Bobby Jindal. In other words, Barfield makes $250 thousand with zero responsibilities.

Before now, I have never known people at Tim and Janeís level or salaries in state government who actually had deadhead jobs.

The leges say thereís no fat in the state budget. If they contacted me, I can tell them where they can find about $400 thousand that could be used for higher education or healthcare with no loss of services to the public.

P.S. Anyone who wishes to know the individuals who exercise the various duties of the LDR Secretary, please email and I will send you the documents.